The condom purchase task: A hypothetical demand method for evaluating sexual health decision-making

Justin C. Strickland, Katherine R. Marks, B. Levi Bolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Behavioral economic theory has proved useful for understanding the influence of delay and probability on sexual health decision-making. Demand is another principle at the intersection of microeconomics and psychology that has helped advance research relevant to health behaviors. The purpose of the present study was to develop and test a demand measure related to sexual health decision-making and the influence of sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk. Participants (N = 438) recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk completed a commodity purchase task assessing hypothetical condom demand. Condom demand was evaluated at varied prices for use with hypothetical sexual partners that varied in STI risk. Demand was characterized by prototypic decreases in consumption with increases in cost. Higher partner STI risk was associated with greater intentions for condom-protected sex at no cost and smaller decreases in condom demand with increases in cost. Price sensitivity was also related to individual difference factors relevant to sexual health (e.g., alcohol use severity, lower STI knowledge). This study supports the utility of a condom purchase task for indexing condom valuation and capturing individual difference and contextual risk factors relevant to STI transmission. Future studies may leverage this methodology as a means to study sexual health decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-448
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior


  • behavioral economics
  • condom
  • demand
  • humans
  • mTurk
  • purchase task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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